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Atherley still wants answers on White Oak

GERCINE CARTER, [email protected]

Atherley still wants answers on White Oak

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Leader of the Opposition Bishop Joseph Atherley has again called on Government to give answers on the selection of White Oak, the company retained to advise on Barbados’ local and foreign debt restructuring exercise.

During yesterday’s debate in the House of Assembly on a money resolution which provided for payment to the United States firm of legal advisers in the restructuring exercise, Atherley again raised the issue of the cost of the engagement of the advisory group which cost Barbados “about $54 million”.

“I personally don’t think my questions have been fully answered to a good level of satisfaction with respect to that particular arrangement. Certainly, I don’t think we have even heard clearly why White Oak in the first place, and the process under which they have been selected.”

“Today, we are told that we have to settle a legal liability associated with the debt restructuring…and I simply stand on my feet to ask if we can anticipate any further liability on the part of the Barbados Government with respect to the whole process of debt restructuring to be brought to this Honourable Chamber.”

Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn said information received about the state of the economy when the Barbados Labour Party Government took office was dire.

He said the brief received at that time “indicated that we had to restructure our debt”. (GC)